L. Darryl Armstrong
Mother’s Day – Finding a niche and filling it
Today is Mother’s Day a nationwide marketing phenomena.
Cynics would say that Hallmark cards created this Sunday in May to boost sales. However, not true. What Hallmark did, however, is see a niche and they filled it. This is what guerrilla marketers understand better than anyone.
G-marketers understand that you find something that the public wants and then you give it to them, as opposed to coming up with the good idea and “selling” it to them. If Generation X and Y and Baby Boomers want high-end coffee – think Starbucks. If Baby Boomers want convenience in shopping for insurance think Geico and Progressive. If the Korean War and late World War II generations need medical supplies think Wilford Brimley prompting diabetes supply via American Home Health Care.
Finding a niche, spotting the next trend, understanding the need to rescope, review and re-engineer your business on a regular basis is critical to surviving in today’s marketplace.
ARMSTRONG and Associates began life as the L. Darryl Armstrong Group because I saw the need that large corporations and government agencies had to have their public meetings facilitated in an orderly and relationship building manner.
I conceived of the “Group” as the way to group together people from various disciplines by creating a brainstorming think tank that could create synergy for my clients and a depth of expertise.
However, the group never materialized because it seemed that all my business associates were too busy creating their own client base and when approached they were more interested in “working for me” than “working with me.”
Eventually I discarded the idea, reinvented the firm and began to associate with colleagues that had certain expertise that allowed me to build teams as needed. True, I never got that think tank and brainstorming interaction that I needed or still want but I did meet and associate with some outstanding associates, all of whom are independent contractors, which helped me, find and fill niches.
Today, we can as a behavioral public relations firm seek out and fill a variety of niches that 15-years ago we couldn’t. All because of three things:
1. We were not stubborn from the standpoint of creating a firm and selling it, the services and the people. Rather, we created a firm, watched the trends carefully and adapted our services to what the market place and what our clients said they needed and wanted.
2. We remained resilient and flexible throughout the formative and normative phases of our business development and as our firm emerged in the market. That resiliency and flexibility has allowed us to work with clients from the size of Lockheed Martin to literally firms the size of ours — two people, or even just individuals who need good business or public relations advice.
3. We continue to grow and learn and remain resilient in re-engineering our business and we literally re-engineer the firm at least every 3-years. We continually seek out new and exciting opportunities and creative associates that are fun to work with. We will not be content to simply exist as a static public relations firm, we are always looking to evolve to our next phase of business offering, our next level of success, and we are always seeking out new and exciting opportunities to do new things and do them in creative and different ways.
That’s how this blog came to be and soon it will be reflected in our new website and products and services. It is the excitement of reinventing ourselves to meet the market niches that keeps this fun and exciting for us. That’s the way we are already reinventing ourselves, our services and rescoping our markets and seeking new and interesting clients to work with.
So, whoever you are and whatever you do be like Hallmark and find a niche and fill it. There is no reason you have to stay in that niche forever, and most certainly if you think you will you will eventually calcify and fossilize and die as a business.
Stay alert and attentive to your clients; provide them service above and beyond their expectations; and enjoy every single minute of being in business for yourself.
Until next time.